Rethinking Revit: Our Stockholm syndrome

Over recent weeks there has been a furore surrounding Autodesk and their flagship product, Revit. An open letter to Autodesk called into question Revit’s value given escalating licencing costs with stagnant product development. Some long-term customers have even begun considering abandoning Revit altogether and switching to rival software. So how has all of this come about and what’s to take away from the situation? This article offers an alternative view on the matter, suggesting a whole rethink of our relationship with Revit altogether. The Autodesk open letter For years, Architects have complained… Read More

Unintended consequences: Why a LOD400 model is not always desirable

Building Information Modelling (BIM) has brought about significant improvement to the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. As this article will explore, however, is that the enforcement of specific BIM deliverables can be counterproductive and result in worse project outcomes. Specifically, the article unpacks the requirement of a fabrication-level model, known as ‘LOD400’. When challenging the fitness-for-purpose of BIM, some readers may be inclined to jump to the conclusion that if you are challenging BIM, you must be advocating CAD. This assumption is misguided. For those that know the work of Parametric… Read More

Rediscovering Flux: Lessons for generative design software

One of the recent occurrences that have puzzled me is the number of visitors to parametricmonkey.com looking at Flux tutorials. I’ve even had requests to buy the software. So why is this puzzling? Well firstly, Flux closed down over two years ago. And secondly, I’ve been debating what to do with out-of-date tutorials; delete or keep for prosperity? This dilemma got me thinking a little deeper than my superficial WordPress issues. Despite Flux no longer being in existence, it was more relevant than ever. But to understand why let’s start at the… Read More

Finding North

Henry Ford once said, ‘The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.’ This article, Finding North, is a tale of how a simple oversight in understanding north can have devastating consequences. The background The story begins some 20 years ago when a recent architectural graduate was working on a multi-residential project. There was nothing particularly out of the ordinary about the project apart from its beachfront location. Yet the size and bulk of the project were sure to raise eyebrows from the local council. And sure enough, it… Read More

Identifying innovation opportunities

In our previous article, Understanding Innovation, we learnt about innovation and disruption theory and how to differentiate between sustaining technologies and disruptive technologies. This article, which forms part two of our digital transformation series, continues the narrative by discussing how organisations can identify innovation opportunities and make an informed decision without biases. With resources traditionally focused on project-based work, how and where Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) companies direct their efforts is critical. ”I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat every problem as… Read More

MetricMonkey update

Back in May last year, we released a preview of MetricMonkey, our feasibility analysis software, which enables architects, urban designers and property developers to evaluate designs in real-time via an interactive dashboard. Since then, we’ve been busy developing MetricMonkey to incorporate much of the initial user feedback we received. Here is a preview of some of the new features. Mixed-use functionality We don’t live in the 1960s anymore and no longer is it best practice to have single-use zoning. That’s why we’ve incorporated mixed-use functionality. Switching from one function to another is… Read More

Understanding innovation

‘Understanding innovation’ is the first in a five-part series on digital transformation. It draws heavily from research coming out of the Harvard Business Review, particularly the seminal work of Clayton Christensen. Christensen is a Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and was dubbed by Forbes as ‘one of the most influential business theorists of the last 50 years’.1 It should be noted that innovation comes in many shapes and forms. This article, however, is specifically focused on digital technologies within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. ‘Innovation’, as used in… Read More

Parametric Monkey 2019 update

Back in March last year, I launched Parametric Monkey as a digital design consultancy to help AEC businesses across the globe to not just do things better, but to do better things. Since then, we’ve received overwhelming support from the industry, which has only strengthened our resolve that digital design tools play a vital role in improving the way buildings are designed, built and operated. What has become crystal clear to us is that an industry-wide cognitive shift is underway. Companies are no longer satisfied with simple operational efficiency gains but are… Read More

UTS Central: A case study in digital fabrication

This case study will present the UTS Central project as an exemplar of how an architect’s design intent can be maintained through the use of material-specific design solutions, parametric modelling and digital fabrication. The project is a striking 17-storey, glass-encased building which forms the final project of the University of Sydney’s (UTS) City Campus Master Plan. Parametrically derived via a set of rules, the sun shading system regulates solar access into the library’s reading room and is manufactured primarily from folded aluminium components. Each of 108 unique bays consists of a louvre, 64 of… Read More

Parametric Monkey announces preview of new feasibility software

I am pleased to announce the preview of MetricMonkey, Parametric Monkey’s feasibility software. The software enables architects, urban designers and property developers to evaluate designs in real-time via an interactive dashboard. MetricMonkey focuses on augmenting, rather than replacing human capabilities so that the designer is always in control. Democratising knowledge Over the past decade or so, designers have become increasingly aware of the enormous value that computational design offers. Yet despite its advantages, many designers have struggled to embed computational design into their design processes. Our experience suggests that this condition is… Read More